Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Opinion: Prop 8

My parents were divorced by the time I was born. As a result of their decision I grew up in a house where marriage took on a less than ideal (or even traditional) meaning. There were periods of dating, divorce, remarriage, more divorce, more dating, more marriage and so it went. I grew up not knowing my biological father, being introduced to other men, some who became momentary step fathers, others who remained the "uncle" or the "boy friend". I was told from a very early age that he, my biological father, was not important in my development or nurturing etc., because I had a good (step)dad who provided for us and took us as his own. At the age of 8 the last of the boyfriends married my mother and we did have a father figure.

There were times (even after the assurance that this last dad was going to stay) when I went to my mother and begged her for the norm, the ideal, the kind of marriage and family that my friends had. I wanted to be like the other kids I saw, the happy ones with a mom and a dad always there, without fearing that, any day now, someone would leave, change their mind and another divorce would occur.

I am now 50 years old. I still wish I had the kind of home Thor has. The ideal: Imperfect parents who committed to each other, fought along the way, built a home and family that endures through all the muck of life. They have been through it all and the fact remains, the best thing about Thor's mom and dad is that they love each other and committed to each other and their children -forever.

I have worked through my childhood insecurities and tried to deal with what my reality was during those first 8 years. Many people calculate that 8 out of 50 is a minor amount of time, especially when you figure that I was married at 18 and left my "home" rather early and could just "go on with my life the way I chose from then on." Their good meaning reasoning being that 8 years is a very short time for a child to deal with, and if there was a good man in the house after that 8 years, why was I complaining or feeling slighted?

The fact is every child, no matter who, every child needs one mother and one father to be created and gain a body. Every child has a right to be reared in a home where both that same mother and father will lovingly commit to that child for the rest of their life and to each other. This is not a faery tale, it has occurred billions of times over the last 4,000 years. Even when parents no longer were in love, they stayed together "for the children". They bucked it up and did what was right so that their children would benefit.

Usually at this point in this kind of conversation, someone will point out that they know of a couple who fought and argued so much it damaged the children and the family was actually happier once a divorce was finalized.

My answer is, well whoopi-doo for that family, my family situation was not so lucky. And like all children, I wanted the ideal. I still wish I had one mother and one father.

I have nieces and nephews whose father was taken away from them by an early death. Not divorce, not by choice, but by an accident. They have had a good life, again with a man who "stepped" up and fathered them. However, they too long for the original set of parents.

I place any and all bets that if every child were polled, they would choose the original set of parents, their own personal mom and dad, and wished they loved each other, committed, and built a home similar and as imperfect as Thor's parents.

I know there are exceptions to the ideal and I am grateful for good men and women who married into families and take the role of parent to children that are not their biological own. I believe in adoption and wish that every child have a family. I do however still believe, that even in the most severe cases, given the choice, a child would choose a home with a mother and a father.

If they were given a voice in the matter...

The hard fact is, children do not get a voice in how they are reared. But should those of us who do have a voice and a vote chose to give each child the ideal instead of the lowest common denominator? The argument of "any home is better than no home" is a good one, but the lowest acceptance of a home. Every child deserves the best we can provide, not accepting or settling for the least we can insure. We who can vote should vote for the best possible future for our children.

Normally I avoid politics like the plague, however, in regard to what is happening in California and also in other states in the U.S. I am jumping in the pool to discuss my personal opinion.

"Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." -The Family (which reads, to me, as a child's Bill of Rights.)

For those who believe the current ads/commercials saying that no religious rights will be taken away from churches or organizations, please read this from (what is considered a liberal media source) NPR.

This San Francisco Gate article again proves that yes, indeed, our children will be taught that gay marriage is just fine, and go out of their way to make sure your child gets a front row seat as a witness. I don't know about you, but our children's schools eliminated field trips years ago because of finances and school budgets. Any trips our kids went on -we had to fork over at least $80.00 for bus fare.

In the above article it says that two families opted out of the experience and the children of those two families were placed in another classroom for the day to do regular school work as the other kids went on their wedding field trip. In Massachusetts however, a state where same gender marriage is and has been legal for a few years now, The Parker Family warns that their father was threatened with jail time because he wanted their children to opt out of certain teaching in their school's curriculum. Sorry, but in Massachusetts, parents are not informed every time a same gender issue is taught; and some curriculum is mandatory by law.

Voting "Yes on Prop 8" will not take away or further discriminate GLBT people/couples in any way. GLBT couples will still be able to form legal partnerships with all the rights of visitation, health insurance, and other rights-currently on the books as laws. No one wants to take these rights away! In the state of California laws are already in place to insure that GLBT couples have equal rights in partnerships, the work place, schools, hospitals, and courtroom. The only thing they will not be able to do is "marry". The word: Marriage.

I am coming to 90% of my conclusions because of personal experience and 10% due to my religious preferences. If you want to know more about my religious views and the "why" behind them please read:LDS view . Please click the following links if you want more information (both LDS and others in California) on Preserving Marriage or Protecting Marriage.

Thank you for reading and please consider voting YES ON PROP 8!

add to sk*rt


emily said...

thanks for your post!

Defining marriage as between one man and one woman is not taking away anyone's rights. The definition simply distinguishes a union that is biologically designed to produce its own children. Whether a married couple has children or not, I feel like this deserves a separate name--even the potential is kind of a miracle.

Actually this definition can be seen as the ultimate expression of equality our society has to offer: it takes one man and one woman. One could see a lesbian union as a marginalization of men, or a homosexual union as a marginalization of women.

Equality is especially important when it comes to raising children. Children deserve/need a father and a mother. Neither parent should be marginalized.

Yes, many children are already growing up in single-parent homes. Prop 8 should be a reminder to everyone that as a society we need to assist and strengthen families as much as possible. Really, as a society we should be most concerned with the success and health of our families.



emily said...

can i post this as a guest post on my blog?

The Pea said...

You rock!!!

Kristy said...

That was a great post. I appreciate all of your work to help us win this fight.

S'mee said...

Emily, wow, just wow, thanks for your comment and the invite. Tell me what to do!
Pea, I really miss you, dang it all!
Kristy, You also rock, thanks, and fight it is!

flip flop mama said...

Very well put, as always.

S'mee said...

Thank you, FlipFLop!

Anonymous said...

s'mee, i had to change my blog address. google has come out with a statement saying they support gay marriage. also, i had some really weird people commenting on my blog which made me nervous since there photos of children, anyways,

make a comment on my blog with your email address. comments are moderated, then i can send you an email, and you can send me this post.
(this sounds complicated...i don't know what happened, just send me your email.

i'm very excited!

S'mee said...

Thanks F&F, I'll do that!

Robyn said...

I find it interesting that all of us have stayed married. It was never a cake walk, but we've done it. Maybe the best thing we all learned ever.I probably would rather have learned commitment a different way though.

S'mee said...

I agree with you there on all counts.